A Morecambe couple celebrated 60 years of marriage this week.
Ivan and Mary Rutter celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on July 21 with a barbeque with family, and they’ll soon be heading off on a Mediterranean cruise.
Mary, who was born and grew up in Oldham, met Ivan aged 17 while he was on leave from National Service.
Ivan grew up one of seven children near Oldham, and after school he worked in the local coal mine and cotton mill.
In 1955 he was called up for National Service, first working as a tank driver and then as a physical training instructor with the Queen’s Royal Lancer Regiment. He served in Germany before being posted back to Catterick in Yorkshire, and it was there that he met Mary.
Their third meeting at the local dance hall sealed their future together.
Mary moved to Morecambe with her mother, taking up a job at the Woolworths store in Lancaster, before doing several retail jobs on the seafront in Morecambe.
Ivan joined Mary in Morecambe, and got a job with Imperial Chemical Industries in Middleton, eventually becoming works shift superintendant until the factory closed in 1986.
He then spent a short time at the ICI Thornton site.
The couple were married on July 21 1958 at Lancaster Registry Office, and had their first child, Jaqueline, in 1960, followed by Gary and Michaela. In the late 1960s the family moved to Stanley Road.
Mary worked in welfare at Sandylands School during the 1970s, and also as a special constable.
In the late 70s the couple bought holiday flats on Sandylands Promenade, expanding into the building next door, and set up Seabreeze Holiday Flats and Rutter Properties.
Now retired, and enjoying holidays abroad, they still live in one of the flats today.
The couple have eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.